Production from the Starfish field located in the East Coast Marine Area (ECMA) started in December 2014. Image courtesy of BG Group.
Technip's Global1200 was the primary installation vessel for all pipelay, umbilical lay and heavy lift operations in the development of the Starfish field.
Seaway Heavy Lifting’s crane vessel Oleg Strashnov will be involved in lifting the Dolphin Permanent Living Quarters Module in 2015. Image courtesy of Luc Van Braekel.


East Coast Marine Area (ECMA) comprises the Dolphin, Dolphin Deep and Starfish gas fields offshore east coast of Trinidad. The Dolphin field is located in block 6(b), the Dolphin Deep field is located in block 5(a) and the Starfish field straddles blocks 5(a) and E.

Production from the Dolphin gas field started in 1996, the Dolphin Deep started production in 2006 and the Starfish field started production in December 2014. The common host platform for the three fields is the Dolphin A platform.

BG Group operates the ECMA with a 50% interest, while Chevron Trinidad and Tobago Resources holds the remaining 50% stake.

Discovery and production

Dolphin field was discovered in 1976 and is estimated to hold more than one trillion cubic feet of gas. Dolphin Deep was discovered in August 1998 by drilling the Dolphin Deep-1 well in 650ft water depth. The well encountered 546ft of net gas pay in three zones, which flowed at an initial rate of 36 million cubic feet of gas per day and 430 barrels of condensate per day (bcpd).

"BG Group operates the ECMA with a 50% interest, while Chevron Trinidad and Tobago Resources holds the remaining 50% stake."

Starfish gas field was discovered in December 1998 by drilling the Starfish-1X well at a water depth of 427ft, which encountered 501ft of net gas pay in four zones and tested at an initial rate of 16.2 million cubic feet of gas per day.

Dolphin and Dolphin Deep currently supply around 690 million cubic feet of gas per day of gas to National Gas Company (NGC) and Atlantic LNG. Production from the Starfish field is expected to reach 210 million cubic feet of gas per day by March 2015.

Gas export from ECMA

Production from the three fields is supplied to NGC and Atlantic LNG through separate offshore pipelines. One of the pipelines connects the Dolphin A platform with NGC’s Poui platform, while the second offshore pipeline, measuring 96km-long, connects the Dolphin platform with the Beachfield receiving terminal onshore, which further connects to NGC’s 76km onshore Cross Island Pipeline stretching from Beachfield to Atlantic LNG at Point Fortin.

Gas field development

Dolphin field consists of 13 platform wells. The Trinidadian gas field was initially developed by drilling eight wells. The additional five wells were spud in 2008 and completed in 2009.

Development of the Dolphin Deep field involved the drilling of two wells with subsea facilities tied back to the Dolphin platform.

Starfish field, located in around 130m of water 50 miles offshore, comprises three subsea wells tied back to the existing Dolphin A platform via a 10km-long and 14in-diameter concrete-coated production subsea flowline. The field’s subsea facilities further include an 11km control umbilical, riser and spoolpiece tie-ins, four flexible jumpers and a subsea manifold.

Development of the Starfish field was sanctioned in 2012 and the first well was spud in late 2013.

Contractors involved

Engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) works for the Dolphin Deep field were performed by FMC Technologies. The front end engineering design (FEED) works for the field including the topside facility modifications for the Dolphin A platform were performed by JP Kenny and Mustang Engineering.

FEED works for Starfish were performed by Flour, who further provided the EPC management services for the field’s development. The engineering, procurement, construction and installation (EPCI) activities for the Starfish gas field’s subsea facilities were performed by Technip.

PFLNG – 2 Project involves the installation of a new FLNG facility at the deepwater Rotan Gas field.

Fabrication and installation of the 24in-diameter gas export pipeline from the Dolphin platform to the NGC’s Poui platform was performed by Allseas.

Installation of the 24in-diameter gas transportation pipeline and an associated 12in-diameter infield flowline and well control umbilical from the Dolphin platform to Beachfield onshore facility was performed by Stolt Offshore under a contract worth $80m.

The proprietary ContraFlame JF60-200 Riser Protection System and ContraFlame JF60-200 Enclosure System for the platform’s risers, to mitigate them from fire and explosion, were supplied by Advanced Insulation.

Seaway Heavy Lifting has been contracted to transport and install the 1,120t Dolphin Permanent Living Quarters Module, which will be completed in 2015 deploying its Oleg Strashnov crane vessel.

A FEED study for the produced water systems upgrade on the Dolphin field is being performed by Xodus Group, under a £2m contract awarded in June 2014.

NRI Energy Technology